Why is Gardening Good for you?

Why is Gardening Good for you

10 Expert reasons to get out in the garden in all seasons. Swap the dining fork for a garden fork and feel amazing!

Believe it or not gardening is a great way boost your health and your mood. Millions of people around the world know all too well how rewarding gardening can be. In this article we will break down why gardening is so good for you with 10 expert reasons to get out into the garden and give gardening a go yourself.

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1. Gardening Lifts Your Mood

One of the best things about gardening is its power to lift your mood and make you feel grateful, at peace and happy in life.

Research from the mental health charity Mind found that “eco therapies” such as gardening could be as effective as antidepressants in treating some people.  Some of the reasons behind this are rather obvious, gardening gets you outdoors, it gets you moving and it focuses your mind on something positive helping you to relax and let your worries go.

Mind’s study included findings from the University of Essex in the UK which showed positive links between eco therapies and improved mental wellbeing. This research proved that eco therapies such as gardening can improve mental health, boost self-esteem, help people with mental health problems return to work, improve physical health, and reduce social isolation.

Mind also found in a survey of doctors working across England and Wales that over half agreed eco therapy was a valid and suitable treatment for anxiety and depression.

Gardening is excellent for mental wellbeing, this is supported by medical evidence but also the experience of millions of people across the world.

2. Gardening Is Great Exercise

Gardening is excellent exercise for lots of reasons. Firstly and most importantly gardening is not what you think of when you think exercise. For many exercise means going to a dull gym and aimlessly running on a revolving floor…

Gardening is Great Exercise
Gardening is Great Exercise

Gardening is so effective as an exercise because it gets you moving and burning calories without even thinking about it as exercise to begin with. Quite often I will cut the grass only to find I have done 15,000 or 20,000 steps. I have never done that on a treadmill without noticing and that’s what’s so great about gardening.

Gardening is also incredibly low-impact on your joints, reducing the risk of injury, more on this point later on. Spending an hour or two in the garden is a great way to get your body moving and your heart rate up, whether you’re cutting the grass or watering the plants just get out there are get started.

3. Get Some Fresh Air

Most of the reasons why gardening is good for you are common sense, unfortunately common sense isn’t quite as common as it once was. There’s a reason why your grandmother would tell you to go outside and get some fresh air. It’s because fresh air is great for you and an important part of maintaining good health.

Believe it or not there was a time when doctors would actually prescribe fresh air as a treatment for sick patients, whilst this is no longer the case its perhaps more surprising how far society has moved in the opposite direction.

Winter is the season of so much illness in part because we spend so much more of our time indoors, sharing the same air and allowing germs to easily spread between us. Getting out into the garden is a great way to get the fresh air that you need and reduce the risks getting sick.

4. Protect the Environment

Gardening is a great way to protect & support the environment. Not least because plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen as they grow and survive much the same as people and animals convert oxygen in to carbon dioxide.

Essentially plants reduce our air pollution and by nurturing plants you are helping to make the environment better for us all.

Many animals depend on plants and trees for the food and shelter they need to survive and to hide from predators. Growing and nurturing plants is a great way to support the local environment and attract beautiful animals into your garden.

5. Nurture Life & Watch It Grow

Planting a seed and watching it grow into a strong plant is a hugely rewarding process. One of the great things about gardening is being able to help another living thing grow and thrive.

Watch it Grow
Watch it Grow

In a world of immediate gratification and next day delivery you can’t make a plant grow more quickly. You plant a seed, water it, feed it and you grow together. Connecting with nature in this way can be hugely rewarding for mind and soul.

6. Grow Your Own Produce

Growing your own fruit and vegetables is so much fun. Who doesn’t want to walk through their garden, pull a fresh pear from a tree and take a bite?

Growing your own is rewarding on so many levels. Firstly you can grow the varieties you enjoy the most and have an almost unlimited supply. Secondly you can control how that produce is grown and keep it free from chemicals and pesticides protecting both you and the environment. Thirdly you can save time and money shopping for produce. Finally you can become more self-sufficient and less dependent on others to feed you and your family.

Grow your Own
Grow your Own

One of the great ironies of supermarket produce is that it can often travel thousands of miles to make it to your plate when it could be grown at home. By living in this way our society is having a catastrophic impact on our planet and contributing to climate change.

7. Connect With Nature

Gardening is a great way to reconnect with nature and find inner peace. Being outdoors helps you rediscover some of the primal joys of being alive on this planet. The wind and the sun on your skin the feeling of rains drop hitting your face. For millions of years life thrived outside but after a few thousand years being indoors humans are forgetting their true nature.

Reconnect with Nature
Reconnect with Nature

Get the spade out and get gardening and you can rediscover a peace you haven’t felt for a long time.

8. Gardening Is a Great Low-Impact Exercise

Gardening is a great way to move your body, burn calories and get fit. Whether it’s cutting the grass or weeding gardening helps you get active and in shape.

Where I believe that gardening differs from other exercise is three fold. Firstly and perhaps most importantly gardening doesn’t feel like exercise so you don’t spend the whole time looking at your watch and waiting for an excuse to stop.

Secondly gardening is a very low impact exercise on joints meaning you’re unlikely to get injured whilst still getting fit and feeling great. Thirdly you actually have something to show for your efforts when you’re done unlike all those boring and somewhat pointless sessions on the treadmill.

9. Boost Your Immune System

Gardening is a great way to get the sun on your skin. Your body needs sunlight to create Vitamin D which itself plays a vital role in your health. The Vitamin D our body creates from sunlight helps us to absorb Calcium and in turn maintain a healthy body and immune system.

On a less scientific note a suntan can help you look and feel healthy and vibrant… although be careful not to get burnt.

10. Clear Your Mind

Gardening is an excellent way to relax and clear your mind because not only are you occupying yourself with something productive, the environment when gardening is so conducive to relaxation with all the greenery and fresh air.

When you’re gardening it’s one of few times you’re not being overloaded with information from phones and television. It’s so important for your physical and mental wellbeing to have this time out to destress and recharge your resilience.

Thanks for Reading

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